Sex crimes are serious, and if convicted, you can do years in prison, as well as suffer tremendous damage to your reputation. But you can take action if you face this charge, the first of which is to hire a skilled sex crimes attorney.
Detailed below is more to know if you face a sex crimes charge.
State vs. Federal Law
In many criminal sexual conduct cases, you will be charged under the state’s laws in which the crime allegedly occurred. But federal jurisdiction can apply to some sex crime charges, according to Title 18 of the US Code.
Some of the offenses would relate to the alleged violation on federal property, such as a federal prison or courthouse. Federal law also may apply to the case if you crossed state lines to commit a sexual offense.
If federal jurisdiction applies to your case, you should seek a criminal defense attorney who has defended people accused of federal sex crimes.
Sex Offense Must Be Proven In Detail
Most states have similar laws covering prohibited sexual conduct based on the victims’ age or lack of consent by the individual. Prohibited sexual conduct with a minor, for example, usually includes touching over or under the clothes, penetration with an object or finger, and any type of sexual intercourse.
However, every sex offense contains elements that the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt. In many cases, it simply comes down to the word of one person vs. another, especially if there is no DNA evidence.
Creating Reasonable Doubt In A Sex Crimes Case
It’s understandable that many people want to believe the alleged victim if they accuse someone of sexual misconduct. However, there are many examples of people being falsely accused of these crimes.
One defense to a sex crimes charge is to delve into the person’s motivation to make the accusation. If your attorney can create reasonable doubt in the jury’s mindsUnderstandably, it’s possible the case cannot move forward.
Some of the frequent motivations for people to make phony accusations of a sex crime include:
- Shame: There have been cases where the accuser was ashamed that they engaged in a sexual encounter and eventually made a phony allegation to hide the fact that it was consensual. For example, a married person who commits adultery may accuse the other person of rape.
- Revenge: An alleged victim could try to take revenge on an ex-spouse or partner by saying a recent sexual encounter was non-consensual. This type of accusation can damage the defendant, even if it is proven to be groundless.
- Financial: A sexual allegation that isn’t true can be a way to attempt to extort money from the defendant. The perpetrator may have sex with a person and threaten to go to the police if a ransom isn’t paid.
Your criminal defense attorney will discuss your case and detail and determine the best way to defend you against these serious charges.
Registering On Sex Offender List
If you are convicted of a sex crime and released from prison, you are usually required to list yourself on a sex offender registry for the area you live. The US government also maintains a national sex offender website where you may have to register.
If you do not register on the required registries, this is another sex offense, and you may be sent back to prison.
Anyone who has been accused of a sex crime is dealing with a serious charge. Still, an experienced criminal defense attorney can safeguard your rights and sometimes get the charges dismissed.